Quiet dismissal: FSB's 5th Service Head ousted over Ukraine offensive failures

General Sergey Beseda has been dismissed from his post as the head of the FSB's 5th Service, widely considered to be chiefly responsible for the failure of Russia's blitzkrieg in Ukraine. The dismissal took place quietly, with General Beseda being replaced by Alexey Komkov, who previously held a senior position in counterintelligence, reports the news outlet Important Stories, citing two sources close to Russian intelligence services.

Rumors about Beseda facing significant problems began circulating in 2022, as the failure of Russia's rapid offensive in Ukraine became apparent. The 5th Service, under his command, was responsible for establishing espionage networks in Ukraine and had assured the Kremlin with reports predicting that the Russian army would meet no resistance from Ukrainians. Sources claim that the decision for the so-called "special operation" in Ukraine was largely based on these misleading reports, leading to severe disappointment as Ukraine met the invaders not with open arms but with intense military resistance.

At that time, persistent rumors suggested that Beseda had been arrested, although this information was never confirmed. The 70-year-old FSB general was only stripped of his role as the head of the 5th Service almost two and a half years into the conflict. He has now been reassigned as an advisor to Alexander Bortnikov, the Director of the FSB. Sources claim that Beseda's removal is the result of intense internal power struggles within the Russian intelligence service, involving multiple power-hungry factions fighting over high positions. The ongoing disputes may also lead to the departure of 73-year-old FSB Director Bortnikov, who is reportedly asking to retire due to health concerns. Should Bortnikov step down, his likely successor would be First Deputy Sergey Korolev, known for his connections to Russia's criminal underworld.

  War in Ukraine, Russia